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A cudughi sandwich
A cudughi sandwich

Cudighi Recipe — How to Make & Enjoy This Flavorful Italian Patty

Akhona Zungu
Jan 21, 2024
05:30 A.M.
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Native to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, home of the "Yoopers," the cudighi has been a local delicacy for decades. Follow these easy steps to make your own cudighi patties and enjoy them at home.

It all started with an Italian-American immigrant opening a sausage stand between his family's barbershop and bar, from which many of his customers came. It was 1936. The man served an Italian sausage made with "secret" seasoning in an American-style sandwich with mustard, ketchup, and fried onions.

He called it the gudighi. The delicacy quickly grew in popularity, and his son maintained its legacy following World War II. However, instead of a sausage, the son flattened the meat into patties and served it topped with pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese.

A cudighi sandwich served with fries | Source: Shutterstock

A cudighi sandwich served with fries | Source: Shutterstock

From then onward, local restaurants (besides franchises) adopted the gudighi sandwich into their menus. Residents of Upper Peninsula Michigan, the self-proclaimed Yoopers, also made gudighi sandwiches at home, which would later be known and primarily recognized as "cudighi."

If you want to make this mouthwatering meal at home and enjoy it with your loved ones, here's how to make a batch of its main ingredient: the patty. Happy cooking!

Cudighi Recipe

Ingredients for the Meat:

  • 6 lbs mix of pork and fatty trimmings
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt

Ingredients for the Wine Seasoning:

  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 clove

Ingredients for the Sandwich:

  • a hoagie roll
  • marinara or pizza sauce
  • sauteed onions and bell peppers
  • mozzarella cheese

Instructions for the Patty Mix:

1. Ground your pork mix.

2. Mix your allspice, kosher salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, black pepper, and white pepper in a small bowl.

3. Add the ground pork and your spice mixture in a large bowl, knead until the meat is fully covered in seasoning, then refrigerate.

Work your spices into your ground pork | Source: YouTube/2 Guys and a Cooler

Work your spices into your ground pork | Source: YouTube/2 Guys and a Cooler

3. Add your wine, cinnamon stick, garlic cloves, and clove in a saucepan, and bring the mixture to a boil. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes, and top it with up to ¾ cup of wine if it reduces.

Bring your wine infusion to a boil | Source: YouTube/2 Guys & a Cooler

Bring your wine infusion to a boil | Source: YouTube/2 Guys & a Cooler

4. Transfer the wine infusion into a container and leave it to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight.

5. The next day, strain the wine mixture into the meat. Work the wine into the meat, then refrigerate for 2-3 days for the seasoning to settle.

6. Store in bulk, sausage links, or patties to enjoy later or make your sandwich, following the steps below.

Freeze your seasoned ground pork to enjoy later | Source: YouTube/2 Guys and a Cooler

Freeze your seasoned ground pork to enjoy later | Source: YouTube/2 Guys and a Cooler

Instructions for the Sandwich:

1. Thaw your seasoned ground pork for a few hours if frozen.

3. Cook your patty over medium heat, either on a pan or on a grill. Cook each side; once ready, your patty should have an internal temperature of about 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. If you'd like, top your patty with mozzarella cheese.

5. Slice your hoagie roll in half and spread some marinara sauce on each (internal) side.

6. Place your patty on one of the hoagie slices and top it with sauteed onions and bell peppers, then close your sandwich with the other hoagie slice and enjoy.

Note that you can toast your hoagie roll if your taste buds prefer a little crunchiness. And now that you're on a roll with Italian-American cuisine, why don't you try the Hot Dago, another Italian-inspired dish?

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